"The truth is, it's not a great career move to create a readership and then, in effect, abandon them. "- Dan Simmons
Remember the first time you wrote a verse/prose or perhaps painted a picture. Beyond the self satisfaction of creation what was the next thing that gave you goosebumps- appreciation or criticism from your audience. No matter what was the reaction but the bottom line was the thrill of being recognised for an act of creation. It is so inherent that even as the most detached, inconsequential (sorry to use this term) or introvert author, you might yet, want a readership or recognition. My guess is we all go through it. For my matter, even I do, though the entries are only into a blog. Somewhere I feverishly wish that more people read what I have to say and also leave their feedback.
Bouquets and brickbats are never worries. Readership is. I would sometime think over this and worry that maybe my entries are not attractive enough to pull in readership. Thankfully, I do not continue to think the same today after I came across the quote by Dan Simmons. Very simply said but immensely thought provoking. It also reminds me of a movie "Finding Forrester". If you all have not watched it, then you must. Sean Connery in it. (Awesome movie and its a kind of serendipity when I realised that the makers of this movie are also the makers of "Good Will Hunting". Both these movies are my favourites.) Anyway, like I was saying readership, therefore should be the last thing in your mind if you are writing. One should write because he/she enjoys writing. The act is to write without any pretensions; express what is in the mind. The editing can happen later and readers will follow even later. Marquez does this and I guess all who want to express do the same.
Three cheers, Mr Simmons. Let me sum it up also with another quote of yours
"There's a unique bond of trust between readers and authors that I don't believe exists in any other art form; as a reader, I trust a novelist to give me his or her best effort, however flawed."